Camera Body & Lenses:

Canon 5D MK3 - My new camera body that is full frame and a truly great all-rounder. 

Canon Rebel T5i - This was my starter camera body which is a crop frame, and fantastic for starting out with. 

Sigma 35mm F1.4 - Great lens for indoor shooting - incredibly sharp even at F1.4 so superb for shooting in low light. This version is for Canon cameras, but you get one for Nikon too.  

Canon 50mm F1.4 - A camera bag staple. A 50mm is just a great all round focal length. 

Canon 85mm F1.8 - Truly stunning portrait lens - tack sharp and quick to focus.  So impressive for the price - highly recommend. 

Canon 100mm Macro - Macro lens that is also great for portraits. 

Canon 135mm F2.0 - Longer length lens that gives yummy bokeh. 

Other Photography Tools:

Grey Card - Pocket sized grey card for setting white balance and exposure.  A must! 

Expodisc - Also for setting white balance and exposure - this is quicker and easier to use than the grey card since you don't have to prop it up anywhere. You place it over your lens, stand where your subject is and point it back to where you are going to be standing when you take the picture.  

Reflector - Used for shaping light for portraits both indoors and out.  Not essential, but really does help with getting "good" light on your subject. 

CF Cards - Good quality cards with high write speeds - this is important so that you don't have to wait for your camera to catch up when shooting fast action.  

SD Memory Cards -  Although I mainly use CF cards, I still have some of these too - again, these have good write speeds.  If your camera does not take CF cards, get a good SD card instead! 

Editing Programs & Software: 

Adobe Lightroom - Incredible tool for both managing and editing your photos.  This is the boxed version that you can buy for a one off fee, but I highly recommend purchasing it as part of the photography plan below. 

Lightroom & Photoshop Photography Plan

This gives you both Lightroom and Photoshop, for just $9.99 per month. Well worth it!

RadLab - This is an amazing tool for editing your photos! It is especially great for beginners who don't yet know exactly how to edit as it is incredibly intuitive and user friendly. You'll need either Lightroom or Photoshop / Elements to use it. 

Replichrome Presets -  Although I mainly use my own presets that I have created, these are the only other presets I use! 

Photography External Light

Canon Speedlite 430ex- This sits on top of your camera and allows you to add extra light to the scene but keep it looking really natural as you can "bounce" the light due to the swivel head. 

Professor Kobre's Lightscoop - If you have a pop up flash on your camera, this is another great way to soften the light so it looks more natural. It's not as good as a speedlite as you don't have as much control, but it's a wallet friendly option that allows you to bounce the light from the flash and gives great results. 

Camera Bags

Kelly Moore Hobo - My "dress' camera bag! It's not the most comfortable, especially when full, but what I do like about it is the fact that I can access my lenses (and therefore swap them out) whilst still wearing the bag. 

LowePro Backpack - This is far more comfortable for wearing than the hobo, so I use this for trips to the beach, going for walks etc. It has a separate section that I use to put in snacks and a iPad etc, so it's more practical.

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Computer & Storage 

External Hard Drive - Essential for backing up your photos.  I have two - one for my main photo storage (so they are not taking up space on my computer hard drive) and a second one for my photo back ups. 

X-Rite Color Munki - for calibrating your monitor so that what you see on screen matches your prints!

SmugMug - I use this for my offsite photo storage, and for easily sharing my images with friends and family. If you are in business you can use this to deliver images to clients, or as a viewing portal. 

Photography Studio in a Garage! 

I don't have a proper studio, but I do have a cheap and cheerful set up in my garage! Here's what I use: 

Thunder Grey Seamless Backdrop Paper This is a roll of strong sturdy paper, which you can also use for flooring if need be.  If you have the room, get the wider paper roll as it is more flexible. I also have the same paper but in white. (White, Grey and Taupe are the most flexible colours)

Photography Backdrop Stand Cheap and cheerful option for holding up your backdrop paper roll.  It's not the most sturdy, but it is wallet friendly for beginners / hobbyists. 

Clamps You'll need these to keep the paper roll from falling down.   You can also use these to clamp on a bit of baseboard to the bottom of the paper to give you a "bottom" of the roll. 

I don't have this but add in some plywood or laminate wood for flooring and you're good to go! 

Photography Blog / Website 

SmugMug - Great option for photographers as you can use this as a website, and as a way to allow clients to view and purchase their images. 

Wordpress - The bloggers staple. 

Bluehost - If you use Wordpress you will need to "host it somewhere - Bluehost is a firm favourite!

Squarespace - another option for websites but not as robust for bloggers and as you can't use plug-ins, might not be useful for some photographers who want purchase options etc.  

Photography Books

Understanding Exposure - A classic photography book that is well worth a read. 

The Visual Toolbox - This book is brilliant if you have the basics down, but want to learn how to take more interesting photographs.  With 60 lessons and exercises to try, it could keep you going for a whole year :) 

People Pictures - I love this book because it is broken down into 30 different exercises for capturing people. 

 

 

*Please note, some of these links are affiliate links, but I only recommend products that I use and love.

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